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Lisa Crowley's "The Reading Hall" at Te Tuhi.

"The Reading Hall"


The Vyborg Library in Russia is the feature of the latest video work The Reading Hall by Auckland based artist Lisa Crowley, opening at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga on September 24.

 Crowley wanted to capture the analogue approach to reading as new technologies change the experience.  Says Crowley,  "something is being changed and lost now that we can access the written word  through our ipad or smartphone.  It seemed time to pause and reflect back as we watch the marginalisation of certain forms of production  from contemporary culture."

 A celebrated 1930s modernist building designed by renowned Finnish architect Alvar Alalto, the Vyborg Library and its reading hall is presented alongside footage of the near-obsolete analogue printing process.  With these two related subjects,  the exhibition gives focus to relics of early 20th Century modernity.  In the digital age, the dissemination and consumption of knowledge has changed rapidly and the exhibition reflects on now older  forms of the written word.

 Te Tuhi curator Bruce Phillips believes Crowley's work  expresses these concerns by using compelling and contemplative imagery.  "The digital age has brought on a revolution as important as when the first printing press changed the knowledge landscape" explains Phillips.  "The Reading Hall enables us to consider what these changes may mean now that digital forms  are the medium to access any type of information."

 Crowley travelled to Russia with the express purpose of documenting the Vyborg Library, and was always interested in the relationship between the building's modernism and its patterns of use.  She found herself  fascinated by the library's reading hall which is a large public space dedicated to the private activity of reading.

 "It is strange the idea of people doing such a personal activity in a place of such a public scale", explains Crowley.  "The no frills environment of the big hall which has no windows and no luxuries, seemed to conjure a sense perhaps of duty or labour for  the people reading within it.  Such a solitary pursuit in a public arena  is very different from our experience of reading which tends to be in small and intimate spaces. "

 Lisa Crowley has exhibited extensively throughout New Zealand and is a senior lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Arts.  The Reading Hall opens at Te Tuhi Centre of the Arts on 24 September and runs until 6 November.  Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts is situated at 13 Reeves Road, Pakuranga and entry to the exhibition is free of charge.




For further information contact:

Helen Goudge

Ph: 577 0138 Ext 7706

Mble: 027 8469 413

Further information:

Contact details: 
Helen Goudge Ph: 577 0138
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